A retired archaeologist in Bristol chained himself to a Victorian lamp post Tuesday, and went on a hunger strike to keep the city from digging it up and moving it to a posher part of town.
They’d already taken 17 of the cast iron lamp posts, so with only 13 left, David Cemlyn felt he had to take a stand.
‘The lamp-posts have been here for over 100 years and have been part of what makes a community, along with the red pillar boxes, the railings and the park benches,’ he said. ‘Taking them away is destroying the ambience of the area and it’s breaking down the community.
‘I’m a retired man used to working in my allotment and I’m not used to chaining myself to anything – but if I have to do it again I will do. Dozens of people have gathered offering support and drivers are beeping their horns.’
The city council claimed the hundred-year-old lamps were being replaced by modern ugly ones to help prevent crime and to comply with environmental standards, although how the poor, benighted residents of the beautiful and historic Clifton district with its endless Georgian terraces are meant to cope with the despoliation of their environment and dizzying spike in roadside crime rates inherent in the lamp posts, the council didn’t mention.
The protest worked. By the end of the day, the council suspended the lamp post looting and agreed to talk it over further with the community.